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Rays Report

Tampa Bay Rays news and notes: Wave of national exposure; David Price embraces his place in history; Johnny Damon strikes pose for cause

Rays vs. Red Sox

When/where: 7:10 tonight; Tropicana Field, St. Petersburg

TV/radio: Sun Sports; 620-AM, 680-AM (Spanish)

Tickets: $19-$300 at box office, Ticketmaster, raysbaseball.com, team store in Tampa.

Promotion: Kyle Farns­worth T-shirt to first 10,000 fans.

Starting pitchers:

Rays

LH David Price (8-7, 3.70)

Red Sox

LH Andrew Miller (3-0, 3.57)

Watch for …

Price check: Price is winless in his past three starts. He is coming off a five-inning outing in New York in which he allowed Derek Jeter's 3,000th hit. He is 4-3 with a 3.43 ERA in seven starts vs. Boston. He closed out Game 7 of the 2008 AL Champion ship Series.

Could have been: Miller, a Gainesville native, was the Rays' third-round draft pick in 2003 but didn't sign. He has bounced around from the Tigers to the Marlins to the Red Sox. This is his fifth start since being called up.

Key matchups

Rays vs. Miller

Johnny Damon 2-for-4

Sam Fuld 1-for-2

B.J. Upton 2-for-4, HR

Sox vs. Price

David Ortiz 2-for-13, 5Ks

Marco Scutaro 3-for-20

Kevin Youkilis 5-for-15

On deck

Saturday: vs. Red Sox, 4:10; Ch. 13. Rays — RHP James Shields (8-7, 2.33); Sox — John Lackey (6-8, 6.84)

Sunday: vs. Red Sox, 8:05; ESPN. Rays — Jeff Niemann (4-4, 4.53); Sox — Josh Beckett (8-3, 2.27)

Monday: vs. Yankees, 7:10; ESPN. Rays — Jeremy Hellickson (8-7, 3.21) or Alex Cobb (2-0, 3.41); Yankees — A.J. Burnett (8-7, 4.15)

Marc Topkin, Times staff writer

Altered look

Bench coach Dave Martinez trimmed the bushy beard he had been sporting all season: "I just got tired of it." Martinez said, though he could have something else in the works.

National exposure

The Rays will be on national TV Saturday on Fox and Sunday-Monday on ESPN. To this point, they'd never had two straight regular-season games on. Plus, tonight's game and Thursday's will be seen in the rest of the country on the MLB Network.

Price embraces his place

LHP David Price apparently isn't that bothered by the infamy of giving up Derek Jeter's 3,000th hit. He agreed to an admittedly lucrative deal with Steiner Sports to sign various collectible items, some with the Yankees shortstop and by writing: "I Gave Up DJ's 3K." Said Price: "I'm over it. It's done."

A little captain in him

DH Johnny Damon and Captain Morgan himself will invite fans onto the field after tonight's game to strike the rum maker's "Captain's Pose" in order to raise money for the United Way of Tampa Bay. Captain Morgan will donate $1 for each fan who participates. The Rays' goal is 25,000. "It's going to be fun," Damon said.

Tampa Bay Rays news and notes: Wave of national exposure; David Price embraces his place in history; Johnny Damon strikes pose for cause 07/14/11 [Last modified: Thursday, July 14, 2011 10:47pm]
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